How Can You Give When You Don't Have?

Philippines
October 20, 2012 7:06am CST
Hello there my fellow myLotters! Christmas in the air and this is the time of year when gift giving is rampant. I do believe in the Principle of Giving. I had been planning to do something special this year, the problem is that How can I give when I don't have that something to give? I am just an ordinary citizen without a permanent job. We are not that rich. I can only afford small things. Who should I prioritize when it comes to giving gifts?
5 people like this
23 responses
• United States
20 Oct 12
The last few years, my Christmas giving has shrunk immeasurably. My list used to include my parents, my sister, my daughter, some good coworkers, some friends...you get the idea. Of course, a list like that can become unmanageable quickly! I used to make gifts-I had a large number of coworkers from my company at one job that I had become friendly with. One year, I made a huge batch of cookies and wrapped them up nicely on a couple of trays. Another year, I made homemade eggnog. My friends and I decided to discontinue gift exchanges, except at one party where it was one wacky gift based on a theme. More fun and much more affordable. My family has shrunk-my parents and grandparents are gone; I'm divorced from my husband, and my daughter is older and understands that I don't have as much. I did gain a brother-in-law and niece. I'd suggest if you don't have a lot of money, give something from your heart-coupons to help around the house, yardwork, baby sitting, stuff like that. Or make something simple that has a special meaning-you don't have to buy anything.
@cust11 (16)
20 Oct 12
From my side I must say the best gift is love, which you always have to give to your family. Apart from all this everything is immaterial.
• United States
20 Oct 12
That's why I'm suggesting that the author give something from their heart because it'll mean more. If it happens to be something that they created, that's fine too because the item is something that they've created with their love for that person. It works great for those people that you can't be with because every time they look at it, they'll be reminded of you and your love for them.
• Philippines
21 Oct 12
@scorpiobabes, Well said! I think what really matters most is what in our heart. Kindness counts! :D
@WakeUpKitty (8706)
• Netherlands
20 Oct 12
First of all: Christmas is NOT about gifts but about the birth of Jesus Christ. Secondly: you say you don't have anything. So your friends should know that. Third: you say you can only give small things. My question now is: what is wrong with giving small things if you have nothing? I really don't understand why so called good friends and family are soo greedy if it comes to christmas presents. I am happy we don't celebrate it with presents at all. Who you should prioritize if it comes to giving gifts? The one who is expecting nothing! So I guess this is you or just a stranger on the street. The rest won't be satisfied anyway which means: angry with you. So no matter if you give them a small thing or nothing it's the same. Btw: according to me christmas should be about being together, having a good time with family or friends. This has nothing to do with presents!
@aabuda (1729)
• Philippines
20 Oct 12
wow...very good remarked! yes...I agree with you...Christmas should be viewed as not just on giving gifts, but so sad because in our culture and religion, we have been known and that we have been practicing that gift giving...
@romzee (938)
• Philippines
20 Oct 12
I agree 100%! Christmas is not all about gift giving, the spirits of the festivity is about sharing...
@roshigo58 (4871)
• Pune, India
13 Mar 13
Hi, How can you give when You don't have? If you don't have enough to give something you can give other happiness by helping them physically or you can give emotional support to others who need mental support. You can give a small gift with love. Prize of gift is not important but the feeling behind the gift is important. you are right.
• India
2 Nov 12
Gift should not be costly, gift is gift, they carry our emotion and love, the person to whom you will give are certainly aware of your monitory status; sending a card may be enough.. Thanks for sharing
@cutepenguin (6457)
• Canada
29 Oct 12
Well, maybe you could give people things like help them move, or babysit or petsit for them, something to make their life easier. I am making a lot of presents and so have been looking online for tutorials on how to make things I think people would like.
@myfb2009 (8304)
• Malaysia
29 Oct 12
Since nowadays money is very hard to be earned, it is usual hard to spend money for buying gifts. Usually, i would go for handmade gifts for young children in my family circle, if i don't have much fund to buy gifts from the shop or shopping malls. At least, we should try our best to make children happy during time of giving. Now, i am thinking on what i would give for this year. Always remember, children should be the ones to receive gifts first. Adults should comes later. Happy a nice planning of your gifts.
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
25 Oct 12
i know what you mean. in the first place, Christmas should not be about gifts but i know that people do still expect gifts. can you make any gifts? there are tons of handmade gift ideas on the internet. i don't have much money so i am planning to make a lot of stuff. i guess how you could prioritize is to give gifts to the most important people in your life first and then go from there.
@peavey (16856)
• United States
22 Oct 12
I think children and young people should come first, children especially. While Christmas shouldn't be all about giving, it's a great part of it and I, too, agree with the principle of giving. Something about giving makes one's soul expand. Gifts are an expression of a part of our feelings toward others. Others can understand better that you can't afford to give or to give much and you may even remove some people from your list. Talk to the ones you cannot buy for and explain your situation. Concentrate on small things because there's nothing wrong with that. Think also about second hand things. Not as in junk, but in carefully chosen items that mean something. Collectibles can sometimes be had for almost nothing; jewelry sometimes gets better with age, family items with a history (include the history) and so on.
• United States
21 Oct 12
Hi! I hear you as I have been there myself. How are you at being creative; are you good at baking or sewing? Sometimes if you bake or sew something for someone (if it is all right with them), they'd appreciate it even more than something store bought because you put yourself into it. Sometimes these can get a bit expensive depending on how elaborate you become but if you look around you can get some good deals. What about old films? Does your family have some old films that could be transferred over to DVD? Sometimes this is a gift that is well-received and bring back many a good memory. Just a thought. Hope all will go well :-)
@justinus (1110)
• Karawaci, Indonesia
21 Oct 12
we can give attention by visiting them (to hospitalied peoples) etc.. Am I right ?
@Loverbear (4928)
• United States
21 Oct 12
You have brought to mind the best Christmas I had when I was growing up. We were financially strapped and we had $80 from our Christmas fund account. We set a limit of $20 for each person for their Christmas and each of us set out to buy gifts. It was tons of fun and we really had to use our heads to think of gifts for each of the four family members. We, as a society, have put the wrong spin on the Christmas season. Instead of it being a simple celebration of the birth of a special man, it has become a season of going deep into debt if you want to prove to the person that you really love them. We have taught our children the concept of greed and over spending. We have stacked the tree with presents so high that the tree is dwarfed by comparison. Do we really need to impoverish ourselves for the sake of pleasing our loved ones? Is it so earth shattering that our children don't get the latest technology? Will it maim them for life if they don't get everything that they think they want? Instead of buying your gifts, how about making them? I did that with my daughter as a single parent. I made her tons of clothes and she was so thrilled!!! I was able to buy remnants at the local fabric store, I also knit my fingers off making her sweaters, scarves and more. If you can't sew or knit or crochet, you can make candy, dessert breads or whatever. Coupons for hugs, kisses, massages, room cleanings, special outings for later in the year, movies, a night of their selecting television programs.... A gift of love is so much better than a gift that the person would have never wanted in the first place. I know all too well because of a person who would buy me "gifts" at our local thrift store...they were absolutely horrible and I would thank the person for the gift and eventually end up donating it to the thrift shop. Unfortunately it took me awhile to realize that I was donating it to the same thrift shop that the friend bought it at, and guess what? Yep you got it, I would again be gifted with the same item. This happened with one item three different times in a row, so I wised up and found a donation site that took my donations out of the county. That is another option, visit your local thrift shop, it is amazing some of the things that you find in there that are brand new...or used so lightly that you can't tell that they were used and you can purchase them at a fraction of the cost if they were new. I wish you were close to where I live because I could help you out some. I too am an ordinary person who is on disability. I've learned some rather unique ways to get by.
@kokomo (1868)
• Philippines
21 Oct 12
You are right...You are not oblige to give if you do not have something. I think you should give first yourself a treat before others.
• United States
21 Oct 12
If you cannot afford to give gifts it doesn't make you less of a person, you should not be pressured into giving money either. You can give your time, it will go farther than a gift ever could. It will also make a lasting impression and it could even start a tradition. Ask each person what you could do for them this Christmas, I'm sure they will have something you could help with. Giving your time and talents is much more rewarding since it comes from the heart.
• United States
21 Oct 12
I know money has been tight for many people and it has been for me too. I am seriously looking for some income I can make from home and will be selling some Christmas ornaments as well as looking into Avon (I figure people will buy Avon all year long). As for the priority of gifts my niece and nephews get gifts first (since Christmas is for children), then my parents, my husband and then my brother and sister. I will be making homemade gifts for many of my relatives which will save me money and also I feel that people appreciate them more.
@renj13 (69)
20 Oct 12
giving something is a nice thing to do but if you can't afford, the best thing that you can give is Love... it wasn't everyday that we don't have anything, there must be something that will surely come your way but the thing is that material things is not that important, it is the love for each one another is the greatest gift of all specially to those we love the most...
@mariaperalta (19094)
• Mexico
20 Oct 12
We all would like to give, especially to our love ones. But sometimes we just cant. But most understand.
@GemmaR (8526)
20 Oct 12
There are a lot of people who are worrying about this time of the year because of the fact that they are traditionally expected to give gifts to people and there is every chance that they cannot afford to do so. One of the things that you could do is to make gifts for your friends and family if you are good at any crafts, as these types of things can be made from things that you might find around the house. They will understand that you don't have a lot of money right now so you're not able to pay as much for gifts as you might be able to if you were working and, because they are your family, there is no way that they should judge you for that.
20 Oct 12
Hello craziestqueenever, I also believe in the principal of giving.When someone is not able to get things and if we are able to affort that thing we should give him/her anyway i believe in that. For especially christmas if you want to buy big gift then from now you have to saving money for that. Have a happy day/Christmas in advance....
• Philippines
20 Oct 12
Hi, I strongly agree that Christmas is not really gift giving but being together with your family celebrating the birth of our Redeemer. At this present we live in a material world, we are brought with that so no matter how small or big, or whatever you give it is acceptable. For the oldies you can give respect kiss them for Filipinos magmano when the clock strike at 12midnight, for nieces and kids just put Php 20.00 to 100.00 on the red envelope, they are happy with that, For friends just txt them at 12midnight..well , thinking you make them smile at that wee hour is a great merits everybody was happy and enjoying that time.. advance Merry Christmas, your topic is very interesting :)
@ARIES1973 (9539)
• Legaspi, Philippines
20 Oct 12
Hi friend! So that it would not be very hard for you to decide, put my name on the first, he he just kidding. Prioritize your family.